A Vote and a Prayer
2004-11-01 - 9:58 a.m.
For the past few days, I've been reading numerous articles online from some of America's most prominent Democrats and liberals begging anyone reading to get out on Tuesday and vote for John Kerry. Many have offered to give any readers in their area a ride to the poles. They ask readers to call up anyone they know and remind them to get out to the polls and, if they aren't voting for Kerry already, to convince them that the Bush administration is one of the worst to hit America in its history, and that any and all sacrifices made to get him out of office are well worth it.
I myself am required to vote to retain my fellowship (I have to vote in a California election to prove my intent to become a California resident), so I had no choice but to get on the ball, register, and prepare myself for this day. It wouldn't have mattered if I didn't, though, because as the son of a former Vice-Chair of the Texas Democratic Party, I know about the importance of voting. I also can't think of any of my friends who wouldn't be going to the polls tomorrow, either to vote for Kerry or another candidate.
My message to those voting for Nader or another candidate is this: I am not a big fan of John Kerry myself. No, let me be clear, I am not a fan at all. If he gets elected (by all that is holy, let him get elected) I have no intention of letting him rest easy in office. However, while I wholeheartedly agree that the two-party system is doing a lot to ruin America, running a third candidate is not the best way of creating a third party. Ross Perot's party fell apart as soon as he stopped running. The way to do that is to slowly take over city councils, school boards, and state senates, working your way up to national representation. It's not glamorous, but the Christian fundamentalist wing of the Republican Party exerts a powerful hold on this nation by those very same methods. If you live in a state like Texas that Bush slid into his column the day he announced his first presidential campaign, by all means write in The Tooth Fairy if you want.
If the race is even without shouting distance of close in your state, I'll only say this: Kerry may not be willing--yet--to take us out of Iraq, but I believe that Bush would readily take us into another war. His administration has rattled its sabres at Iran and Syria and I think that it would take little provocation--provocation was certainly not needed for Iraq--for him to decide that the nations of the Middle East are like pokemon--he's gotta catch 'em all. In addition, the odds are good that a number of Supreme Court justices will retire or die within the next four years, including moderates like Sandra Day O'Connor and liberals like Ruth Bader Ginsburg. George W. Bush will replace them with conservatives that will make Scalia and Thomas look like tree-huggers. Roe v. Wade WILL be overturned. I will say that again: Roe v. Wade WILL be overturned. Sexual minorities will remain second class citizens for decades, and a number of the advances made by people of color will be under fire. Labor laws in the 21st Century could come to resemble those of the 19th Century, and I for one do not feel the need to live in a world that can be in any way describes as "Dickensian." The first Bush term has already been catastrophic for this nation. I do not want to imagine the horrors that a second term will bring.
The question is, why am I writing all this? This is the same stuff that so many other people have been writing, so much more eloquently than I, with so much more information at their disposal (I recommend this: http://www.thenation.com/doc.mhtml?i=20041108&s=facts). Why am I wasting valuable study time.
Okay, part of it is that no one loves procrastinating more than I.
But there's another reason. In a number of online articles and blogs that I've been looking at over the past few weeks, I've come across a recurring theme. Numerous writers from around the world have said that they are watching us. The entire world is waiting with baited breath to see who America chooses as our next president. Even little comments posted in blogs say as much. The world is waiting.
I get the spooky sense (maybe it's just the Halloween spirit) that they are waiting to pass judgment.
I'm not saying that we will be invaded if Bush wins. The world is too terrified of what Bush's response would be. But I do think that, for the past few years, the world has not blamed Americans for the actions of our president. How could we know what he would do? This election, though, could change the minds of people around the world. They could decide that Americans do not care about thousands of dead Iraqis, not to mention over 1100 of their own people, or the torture of prisoners in Iraq. They might give up on us.
So, with an eye to my readers in France and Egypt who have the ear of people outside this country, I say this for the record, one more time: I, Rudy Ramirez, am opposed to the actions taken by George W. Bush, declared the President of the United States by the Supreme Court without winning the popular vote. I am wholeheartedly opposed to the war in Iraq, and have voiced my opposition publically at numerous protests and on this blog. While many Americans share my beliefs and long for an administration that values peace, corporate resonsibility, the livelihoods of the working class, universal health care, quality education, and equality for all people regardless of race, religion, class, gender, and sexuality over money and power, many others have trusted their government and accepted the lies told by the administration as the truth. Regardless of the outcome of Tuesday's election, please remember that there are millions of Americans who stand in solidarity with the victims of the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq and with the soldiers who have put their lives on the line for our nation. It is our hope that America will one day live up to the ideals that it has so often claimed to espouse, and that the abuses of power that have characterized this administration will one day give way to a new nation dedicated to working with the people of the world towards a peace that we create together.
Remember this, no matter who wins tomorrow (or whenever the Hell we figure it out).
Now I am going to go read a book on The Postcolonial Exotic (don't ask). I am going to go to class, do my book review, and hopefully dye my hair. I will review all the information I can about ballot propositions and familiarize myself with the candidates. Tomorrow morning, I will get up as early as possible, go to my polling place, and vote. I will spend the remainder of the day in prayer.
Anyone in Berkeley who needs a ride to the polls, let me know.1 comments so far The End - 2005-02-11
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